...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
Kim Barnes Arico
Congrats to Michigan women's hoops coach Kim Barnes Arico on being named an assistant coach for the USA Basketball women's team that will be competing for the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship this summer.
“It has always been a dream of mine to be involved with USA Basketball and represent our country,” Barnes Arico said. “It is one of the highest honors you can achieve in any sport. To get an opportunity to be surrounded by the best players and coaches in the game is exciting. I am thrilled to be teaming up with two of the brightest minds in the business.”
The USA Basketball coaching posts are given out to the most respected coaches in the country, so this is another sign that the Michigan program is in great hands. And certainly her involvement will also bring additional attention to the program and should further elevate Michigan in the eyes of recruits.
The dates for the championship aren't set yet, but there is this on the trials for the U18 team from the mgoblue.com release:
USA Basketball will conduct trials for the 2014 USA Women's U18 National Team May 23-27 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., and players eligible for this competition must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1996.
The Women of Michigan have an early 14-point deficit playing on the home court of West Region's top seed, Stanford, 21-7. Stanford is hitting from practically everywhere on the court so far...
Kim Barnes Arico's first Michigan recruiting class is a pretty impressive one, especially considering she was hired only about half a year ago. At least according to one rankings list, two of the four signees for the class of 2013 are top 100 players nationally. The only downside is that all four are guards. Michigan was a finalist for two top-50 prospects—one a center, the other a wing—but both chose other schools.
Here's the first part of the mgoblue.com press release. See the full release for details on the signees. (Note also that the last paragraph below [see the bolded part] makes the first mention that I'm aware of that the team is planning a foreign trip next summer.)
Nov. 14, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan women's basketball head coach Kim Barnes Arico announced Wednesday (Nov. 14) the signing of the following players to National Letters of Intent. They will join the Wolverines for the 2013-14 campaign.
Name Pos. Ht. Hometown (High School) Paige Rakers G 5-11 Carlyle, Ill. (Carlyle) Shannon Smith G 5-7 Gastonia, N.C./Forestview [Trinity Valley CC] Siera Thompson PG 5-7 Gardena, Calif./Serra Danielle Williams PG 5-9 Phoenix, Ariz. (St. Mary's)
"I am excited about the young ladies who will be joining our program," Barnes Arico said. "I think it was really important for us to make inroads and get this first recruiting under our new coaching staff on board. They are all tremendous young ladies who come from very successful high school programs. They have played in AAU programs that compete at the highest level. It was important for us in the process of building our culture to get players that come from winning programs. These young ladies are all from great families and are excellent students. They will represent Michigan in the best way. They are leaders and best in everything that they do.
"Considering this was our first year and I didn't get hired until late in the recruiting process, I think this is an exceptional class," Barnes Arico said of the quartet. "We are really excited to get them on campus and coach them. We have a foreign trip next summer, which will give us the opportunity to get in the gym with them prior to practices starting in the fall. The staff did a great job of getting involved with players at this high level, considering how late we got started in the process. We are thrilled and think they will do a great job here at Michigan, representing the University the way they should."
Slippery Rock Exhibition
On Friday night, the Michigan women's basketball team defeated Slippery Rock 106-35 in their lone exhibition game of the the 2012-13 campaign. The more up-tempo style of offense that Kim Barnes Arico is known for was clearly evident and is the focus of this Daily article. The one thing that surprised me was the coach starting sophomore Brenae Harris at point guard rather than highly touted freshman Madison Ristovski. Harris did fine, however, scoring 16 points on 7-8 shooting and also had 3 assists and just 1 turnover plus 3 steals. Ristovski actually ended playing more minutes than Harris (25 vs. 22), though, so that starting spot is probably still up for grabs. Ristovski tallied 10 points on 4-6 shooting, along with 4 assists, just 1 turnover, and 2 rebounds.
Jenny Ryan Named Captain
Prior to the exhibition, senior guard Jenny Ryan was named team captain.
"After talking to our players today about leadership and who we want to lead this team, we gave them the opportunity to vote on a captain," Barnes Arico said. "I don't think there is any doubt in anyone's mind that she is the person that we want to lead this team. She is a coach on the floor; she is a coach in the locker room and just has a passion to be the best at everything she does. She is a team first kind of kid. I think that it was a very good selection."
AMWBHG Strikes Again
This previous women's hoops update noted that 7 out of the 15 players on the 2012-13 roster have suffered ACL injuries either during their Michigan career or in the year prior to their arrival in Ann Arbor. Make that 8. A few days ago, junior forward Kendra Seto tore an ACL, ending her season. Four players on the team thus might have to sit out this season with ACL injuries, as Val Driscoll and Kelsey Mitchell are definitely out, and freshman Rebecca Lyttle, who tore an ACL during her senior year in high school, is still recovering and was in street clothes for the exhibition game. An unbelievable string of bad luck for the team.
Season Opener vs. Detroit
The team has its season opener at Crisler this Friday, November 9, at 6:00 vs. Detroit. Anyone attending the men's opener vs. Slippery Rock can come early and get into the women's game for free. Mgoblue.com has the full rundown of promotions for this game:
• Happy Hour -- Grab dinner at Crisler Center with our new Happy Hour special: $5 for a hot dog, chips and a drink!
• Doubleheader -- Got a ticket for the Michigan men's basketball game at 8:30 p.m. vs. Slippery Rock? Beat the rush and come to Crisler Center early to watch the women's game. Receive FREE general admission to the women's game with your valid men's basketball vs. Slippery Rock ticket.
• Military Appreciation Night -- In honor of Veteran's Day on Nov. 11, all active and retired military personnel and their families are invited to attend this game at a discounted ticket rate. Contact Michigan Sports Marketing at (734) 763-0824 for more information!
• Giveaway -- Commemorative 2011-12 Michigan women's basketball NCAA Tournament team photo.
The men's team is deservedly getting loads of attention as the basketball season nears, but I hope more Michigan fans pay at least a bit of attention to the women's team as well and perhaps attend a game or two (such as the doubleheaders that have been scheduled) during this first year of the Kim Barnes Arico era. As a Daily article titled "Enthusiastic Barnes Arico aims to lay new foundation in first week" points out, the new coach has been doing her part to raise the program's profile:
From coaching clinics to speaking at the student watch party at Michigan Stadium before Michigan football’s season opener, she has quickly immersed herself in the city and the University community.
. . .
Barnes Arico . . . already has plans to open up a practice to season ticket holders and host a clinic for girls in the community later this month.
. . .
Her goals also extend beyond the court as well, as Barnes Arico said she hopes to enhance the reputation of Michigan women’s basketball in the community.
“I think the number one thing is for the community to feel connected,” she said. “They need to feel a relationship with us and I think it’s part of my job is to go out and build that relationship. (We want to) promote the program and what these young ladies stand for and how much they work and how we’re building a championship year for the women’s basketball program.”
Barnes Arico was also on WTKA yesterday morning with Sam Webb. A podcast of her appearance can be found here, and here's an embed attempt:
The coach has high praise for this year's senior class and also goes on at great length about how impressed she is with incoming freshman Madison Ristovski, last year's Miss Basketball in Michigan and perhaps the team's starting point guard for the next four years. (Note: Sam mentions Ristovski having a couple of younger sisters who also play basketball, suggesting they might be future Michigan recruits. One of those, Haleigh, has already committed to Detroit Mercy; the other is Lola, who's in the class of 2015 and still uncommitted.)
The biggest news to come out of her WTKA appearance was on the injury front. Several months ago, I discussed in this post all the ACL injuries that current or future members of the women's team had suffered. Well, late last season then-freshman Cyesha Goree tore an ACL, and Barnes Arico mentioned yesterday that two more players—incoming freshman Kelsey Mitchell and junior Val Driscoll—suffered torn ACLs during summer workouts. This means that out of the 15 players on the 2012-13 roster, no fewer than 7 have suffered ACL injuries either during their Michigan career or during the year prior to their arrival in Ann Arbor. Also, of the incoming four-member 2012 recruiting class, only Madison Ristovski has not suffered an ACL injury in the last 12 months.
The coach indicated that Mitchell and Driscoll are likely to redshirt, but the other three players who tore an ACL in the last year will be available for game action.